Kerns next goal is to get degree

Published 9:35 pm Saturday, July 14, 2012


Tribune Sports Editor


WORTHINGTON — The Ohio Amateur Golf Tournament winners’ list has a rich tradition.

Arnold Palmer won in 1953 and 1954, John Cook took back-to-back titles in 1978-79, Ben Curtis was a double winner in 1999-2000, and famed instructor Brian Mogg is also counted among the former champions.

When Ironton’s Nathan Kerns added his name to the winners’ list on Friday, the question arose regarding his future.

As a senior-to-be at Marshall University, Kerns wasn’t ready to look too far into his career crystal ball.

“Obviously, I want to get my degree first and to have a good senior year,” said Kerns who posted a two-stroke win in the 116th famed tournament held this year at the Brookside Golf & Country Club.

“(Playing professionally) crosses every golfer’s mind if your talent is good enough. I want to get my degree so if I try (the pro tour) and it doesn’t work out, I’ll have something to fall back on.”

One key for all golfers with the talent who are able to make a career on the pro tour is their mental approach. Kerns has been fortunate that he has a good mental outlook for the game thanks to Ironton High School head coach Jeff Kerns who just happens to be his father.

“He’s helped me out a lot with that. He’s put a special focus on the mental part. If you have a bad shot, you have to recover quickly. If you’re not mentally prepared, it will beat you.”